Porsche has confirmed that it will close its successful LMP1 programme at the end of the current FIA World Endurance Championship season in order to prepare for a works entry to Formula E in 2019.

Porsche returned to the premier class of sportscar racing in 2014, and has taken three straight Le Mans victories with the 919 Hybrid car, as well as the manufacturers' and drivers' WEC titles for the past two years.

Speculation emerged ahead of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans that Porsche was considering pulling the plug over concerns about its level of competitiveness against rival Toyota and the cost of racing in the series.

Porsche played down the speculation at Le Mans, insisting that it remained committed to the WEC until the end of its existing contract with the series in 2018, only for the board at Weissach to decide this week to close the doors on its LMP1 programme one year early.

Sister Volkswagen Group brand Audi pulled a similar move at the end of last year, shutting its LMP1 programme after 18 years in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal.

As part of a change in approach to its motorsport interests, Porsche will enter Formula E from the all-electric championship's sixth season, starting in the winter of 2019, taking the number of provisional entries for the campaign up to 12.

The news comes just days after Mercedes announced its entry to Formula E from season six, opting to shut its DTM programme in the process in order to focus on its electric interests.

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More teams in FE, for environmental reasons, so they won't be flying round the world in fossil fuelled planes, or using 2 to 5 large diesel lorries per team, doing 6 MPG, traveling around Europe and wherever, such hypocrisy, as is F1, saving fuel, while fleets of planes and juggernauts waiting to transport around the world, get real.

IMHO it's not about appearing "green," the auto manufacturers are interested in developing the next platform for road cars and they have decided that it's electric for a whole host of reasons, none of which is racing or sport. Formula E is a means to an end and it's going to be mega whether fans like it or not. As for myself, a series with Renault, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Mahindra and all the rest should be interesting and a good chance to see who comes up with the best ideas for the future of automotive propulsion.

For endurance racing Porsche's decision is an opportunity to go to a GT dominated series. From it's inception Le Mans and endurance racing has been about which road car can go the furthest in 24 hours and I feel that now is the time to go back to this founding principle. The costs go down to compete and more teams will join in plus less problems with closing speed differentials. I know Porsche will be at Le Mans in the GT catagories next year, that's for sure!

Looks like another big problem for sports car racing, just as soon as we get a decent size works entry they all start pulling out, but that is always the case with big manufacturers, they achieve what they want and then move on, i just hope it does not develop into some Micky Mouse series as in the past, perhaps a return to something like Group C with a large number of private entries would be a positive way to go.

As expected. LMP1 is more or less dead. Maybe Toyota can finally get its Le Mans victory now.
Anyway, this is all (both Audi's and Porsche's exit) because of "Diesel Gate" - Formule E is a gimmick series in order for manufacturers to look better and greener in front of public.

Hopefully this will level out at some point. The move to support Formula E is admirable for all the environmental reasons....but the reality is that this is meant to be motorsport with an emphasis on the sport part....and currently watching Porsche in Formula E would be like watching the Barcelona football team playing bowls.

I told people during year one of FE it would turn into the biggest open wheel series in the world someday. I could be well on my way to being right.